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Dating App Bumble Is Opening a Soho Cafe With a Legit Chef

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Next up in sponsored restaurants: the Charlie Bird team is doing small plates — for tech

Charlie Bird Charlie Bird [Official Photo]

New York’s next corporate-sponsored, branded cafe arrives this fall — and this time it comes from mobile dating app Bumble, with food from the team behind hip destinations such as Charlie Bird.

Bumble, the female-friendly app known for allowing only women to make the first contact with matched users, is opening an all-day cafe and wine bar in Soho later this year, to be named Bumble Brew, Bloomberg reports. The cafe — which will be yellow and have hive branding, per the bee vibe — will serve as a coffee shop by day and wine bar with small plates by night. According to a recent liquor license application, it will be located at 47 Prince St., on Mulberry Street.

Like other recent branded efforts such as the Danny Meyer-run Lexus restaurant, Bumble has tapped an acclaimed local team to run the food and drink program. Delicious Hospitality, the restaurant group behind Soho Italian hit Charlie Bird and wood-fired pizza destination Pasquale Jones, will create the cafe’s pastry selection and a first-date appropriate menu for the evening.

Charlie Bird chef-owner Ryan Hardy plans to include dishes like the well-liked farro salad with cheese and roasted veggies from Charlie Bird, as well as a plate of prosciutto and an Italian sandwich. “No spaghetti — nothing that would be awkward on a first date,” Bumble’s chief of staff Caroline Ellis Roche tells Bloomberg.

Small plates will range from $12 to $15. Meanwhile, respected sommelier Grant Reynolds is charged with the wine list, which will have 15 options by the glass starting at $12. Bottles will also be available. Coffee will come from the group’s coffee shop Easy Victor Cafe, located within Legacy Records near Hudson Yards.

Bumble Brew will be a 70-seat cafe with a bunch of two-tops — ideal for dates, though the space will also be used for events such as networking nights, a nod to the Bumble Bizz platform. It’ll be a casual, counter-service affair; servers will refill drinks.

This isn’t the first time Bumble has dove into the food business here in New York City. Two years ago, the company opened a Soho pop-up called the Hive, where food and drinks accompanied seminars about technology, health, and relationships. It opened one in L.A. too, which reportedly was so popular it was extended for several months, according to Bloomberg.

Now, the app has returned with a permanent physical presence. Bumble chose NYC because it’s the largest, most active market on the app, and nearly half of the users live in Manhattan. Overall, the app has more than 60 million users in 150 countries.

Lots of cafes and restaurants backed by big brands have slithered into New York recently. In Greenpoint, BMW’s Mini built A/D/O, a co-working space and cafe dedicated to design that initially had food from Nordic chefs Fredrik Berselius and Claus Meyer, though they’ve since departed. And Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group runs a Lexus-branded restaurant in the MeatPacking District, where internationally famed chefs are popping up.

Bumble’s new venture signals another data point for a future where restaurants are branded. In fact, with Soho’s rents and those menu price points, the Austin-based company apparently doesn’t expect to make a profit off of the restaurant. Instead, it may replicate the Brew elsewhere, part of the “experiences” that they think their users want.

The cafe is set to open this fall. Eater has reached out to the Delicious team and the Bumble team for more info. Stay tuned.

Bumble Brew

47 Prince St, New York, NY 10012